NDP Needs to Focus on Patient Care and Addictions Instead of Wasting Money: Barnes

Wildrose News Release bannerEDMONTON, AB (September 21, 2016): Health Minister Sarah Hoffman needs to do more to address ongoing health care issues like long wait times and access to addictions treatment for fentanyl users instead of doubling down on bloated costs for laundry services, Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said today.

Over the weekend, Hoffman deflected concerns the government is not doing enough to battle addictions and mental health in the province by pointing to the price of oil and the deficit. Meanwhile, the NDP is currently wasting $200 million a year by not privatizing linen services across the province.

“Albertans understand the importance of having a health care system that treats those suffering from addictions and is available for them when they need it,” Barnes said. “Albertans aren’t looking for ideology, but simply what’s most effective and provides the best value for taxpayers. The NDP government is spending $20.4 billion on health alone this year, but can’t actually focus our spending on the issues that matter most.”

Wildrose has long advocated for current resources to be channeled towards front line patient care instead of a heavily centralized and bureaucratic health system. The Wildrose 10 Point Fentanyl Harm Reduction Plan would redirect current resources into addictions and detox programs and advocates giving the tools to law enforcement to keep dangerous drugs off our streets.

“The NDP government has doubled down on using the same broken approach used by the former PC government when it comes to health care,” Barnes said. “Non-profit addiction clinics in our province have called the wait lists of hundreds addicted to fentanyl waiting for treatment a medical epidemic that will only get worse – that is where we need to be focusing our health care resources.”